Primal Quest "Srpint" Adventure Race was Saturday and BlakeE and I ran (and walked, my fault) rode and paddled around 30 miles or so. When I signed up for the race some months ago, it did occur to me that racing back-to-back weekends may not be a great idea, but little did I realize it was going to be another 7 hour day. So, my tired legs, sore back, and bruised arms, are sitting here thinking that I really will be taking time off now. Until June. When the real training begins.
First, however, there is a race summary to convey. It began at the boat launch area of Pocahontas State Park, which was kind of wet from the rain the night before, but no big deal. The race started with a 10 mile trail run, first a loop around the Old Mill Bicycle trail, then another loop that followed the BB&T fall race course. It ain't flat, and I quickly realized I was not up to par. BlakeE is a great teammate, he was very patient with me during the run part in particular. I did learn more about my nutrition issues and now know that I need to eat BEFORE I crash and burn. Duh on my part. During the second leg of the run part, there were 3 optional orienteering points that we went for, and we did get 2 of them. The third one ended up being in the swamp, and we couldn't take a good bearing to find it, so we thrashed around the underbrush for 20 minutes without any benefit. Finally, we were done with the run part and back to the transition area for some food and a change to biking. MyKaren was there at this point to cheer us on and help out with transition! Yeah for that!
The mountain biking was 15 miles or so, which on the road isn't much, but on the trail....well let's just say it was one of the longest 15 miles of my life. So as we were leaving for the bike portion, the race organizers reminded us that there was a creek crossing about 1/4 mile into the bike, and that the creek was about chest high. I did remember that when the creek crossing came up, so I got off my bike, lifted it over my head and stepped into the creek. There was no bottom. At least no bottom until I, and my bike, which was over my head, were completely submerged. I sputtered to the surface, cursing something to the effect of "well that was much deeper than I expected..." BlakeE and the photographer were openly laughing at me as I struggled to get to a point where I could actually stand. The photographer was clicking away but he lamented the fact that he didn't have a video camera. I cannot wait to see the photos. So, I was soaking wet, all my open food (shot blocks and cliff bar) pretty much disintegrated in my camelback...gross stuff. We biked and biked and biked and biked the single track, I thought for real it was never going to end. I had periods where I was riding pretty well, and periods where I was barely moving. My bike decided to mess with me so it began phantom shifting, just to make this the best bike ever. Poor BlakeE, he was cruising, even though he hadn't been on a mountain bike in years, and I was just trying to crank along, gears shifting and crunching, waaaah for me. We FINALLY got through with single track and cranked the fire roads pretty fast to get the paddling leg.
The paddle was in 2-person inflatable kayaks, which if you do not know, are an invention of the devil. They are sooo freakin hard to steer and neither BlakeE or I ever steer. We decided to have him in the back as he weighs more, and off we go...in circles, backwards, zig-zagging our way sort of downstream to the one and only checkpoint for the paddling section. It was not a pretty paddle, but we just kept going and eventually, kind of got the hang of it. Props to BlakeE who did as good a job steering as possible under the circumstances. We got back to the transition area with about 20 minutes to spare for an "official" finish.
Final tasks were the log PT and then a couple of ropes obstacles. We were told after the race that we picked one of the heaviest logs in the pile for our PT, but hey, we were race stupid at this point. The log PT was overhead press, bicep curls, chest press, situps all to a 4 count, with 10 reps required. The chest press was the hardest because we had to balance it on our hands and I thought it was going to fall on my face and that would be very bad. After all that, we had to hoist it on our shoulders and go around some vollyeball nets. Then the ropes. The first obstacle was ropes with footholds spaced apart and at different heights that we had to cross. That wasn't too bad, and we both did that fairly quickly. The final ropes thing was a cargo net crawl up and over about 20 feet, and we also did that pretty fast, so we now had 2 minutes to cross the finish line. The final task was a 15 foot or so mud crawl and BlakeE and I decided to run and slide it. So we did. The word we got was that it was the best finish of the day...and finishing is what it was all about. Whew. I was very tired and cold and hungry afterwards and some parts were not too fun, but the on the whole it was fun and I am glad I got to do it with BlakeE! He was great!
Looking forward to some rest and Brazil.